Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM045-B

Incident date

December 22, 2011

Location

زنجبار‎, Zinjibar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.129059, 45.380422 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to five people, allegedly members of Al Qaeda, were killed in an alleged US drone strike or naval shelling on an extremist site in Bagdar neighborhood in the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province in southern Yemen on the evening of December 22nd, 2011 according to local sources and news outlets.

One of the casualties, Abdulrahman al Wuhayshi, was reportedly a relative of Nasser al Wuhayshi, a Yemeni who lead AQAP and was once Osama bin Laden’s personal aide in Afghanistan according to the sources. Local journalist Mohamad gad (@mohamadgad0) and other sources such as USA Today claimed that Abdulrahman was Nasser’s brother, however others such as Reuters reported that a security source said he was related to Nasser but “not a brother or a member of Nasser al-Wuhayshi’s immediate family circle”. According to the Long War Journal, the role of Abdulrahman in AQAP is unknown, and his death has not been confirmed by AQAP. Reuters also mentioned that “there was no word of any death of a leading militant on Islamist websites where al Qaeda often announces such news”.

Regarding the type of the attack, Almasdar online, Adengad and other local sources reported that five members of Al Qaeda organization were killed in a US naval shelling on a site near the city of Zinjibar. Whereas, other sources including Reuters and National Yemen who were reporting the death of Abdulrahman claimed that he was killed by a US drone strike. On the other hand, USA today said that according to AP “Yemeni security and military officials say a brother of Yemen’s Al Qaeda leader was among five people killed in the latest of a series of battles raging for days in the south of the country”.

The incident occured in the evening.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that a district in the town of Zinjibar (زنجبار‎) in the Abyan governorate was targeted. It is unclear which district is referred to. The generic coordinates for the town of Zinjibar (زنجبار‎) are: 13.129059, 45.380422. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (13) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (13) [ collapse]